resulted in long-term relationships with appropriate faculty and advanced degrees for ARL personnel. WMRD staff has revealed a strong and healthy environment for creative interdisciplinary interactions.
WMRD’s progress over the past 2 years in the development and integration of modeling and simulation is impressive. In several cases, the integration of simulation and experiment has yielded results not possible with either of these approaches alone. The 2011-2012 reviews revealed a new commitment to transforming materials science computation into reliable predictive tools, as evidenced by new thrusts for multiscale model development, validation, and verification, and for capturing variability through uncertainty quantification. These developments are reminiscent of the Department of Energy’s maturation of computation for the purpose of stockpile stewardship, the results of which have been transformative.
There is evidence of quality research programs that allow “out-of-the-box” investigations leading to new discovery, or better yet, to applications beyond initial intent. For example, the study to characterize ceramic microstructure via capacitance measurement and then to correlate to ballistic measures is one clear example of out-of-the-box thinking, because it recognizes the statistical characteristics of the measurements and cleverly uses Bayesian methods to extract dominant ballistic behavior.
Efforts in materials chemistry reflect high-quality work spanning the range of science to engineering. Combinatorial chemistry and property modeling of the behavior of individual molecules uses state-of-the-art chemical selection as pioneered by the pharmaceutical industry, where there are hundreds of millions of possible molecules to synthesize and combinatorial chemistry down-selects a small number of best candidates for experimental trials. At the other extreme, off-the-shelf materials with careful selection of ligands and surface activity are used to develop cost-effective coatings that can be adapted rapidly to a wide range of specific threats. In the future, the merging of the combinatorial chemistry and science with the surface engineering of coatings should provide a strong foundation for future important contributions.
Furthermore, fundamental studies of polymer networks and tunable microstructures, combined with use of dynamic mechanical testing, diffusion properties, mechanical properties, and morphology studies to understand these crystalline and amorphous microstructures, will add value to the entire materials knowledge base.
Many of the armor technology efforts reviewed were impressive. For example, the kinetic energy (KE) armor technology effort illustrates how a back-to-basics approach can potentially provide a significant, long-term payoff for the Army. Some of the initial WMRD KE armor research employed very high quality, small-scale, reverse ballistic experiments. The early experimental results led to the unexpected discovery of a new KE projectile defeat mechanism. During the initial phases of this research, it was not clear that this new defeat mechanism could be scaled up and used in full-scale designs of practical armors. The experimental results were combined with multi-dimensional computational modeling to better understand how this defeat mechanism worked and how the armor technology could potentially be improved and/or optimized. This effort eventually led to a multi-year, applied R&D effort focused on further maturing and demonstrating this new KE armor technology in practical armor designs. This WMRD work has recently resulted in full-scale prototype KE armors that show significant tactical potential for use in GCV and other applications. All of these developments illustrate how a high-quality, well-thought-out experimental and computational modeling approach can improve understanding and thus help meet future Army protection requirements.
SiC tiles for passive ballistics protection have been developed through an integrated experimental and statistical analysis project. Recent experimental advances have provided the capability to measure